Published: 27th March 2019
Students of Government Law College in T'puram demand safety inside their campus
The lack of surveillance cameras is a major issue, complained the female students of the college
A group of girl students from the Government Law College in Thiruvananthapuram are now openly protesting against the normalisation of sexual harassment in their campus, the presence of outsiders in the campus at all times and the lack of an active woman or grievance redressal cell. They filed complaints regarding the same with the Women's Commission, Human Right Commission, Commissioner and the Collector on Wednesday. The absence of CCTV after extending their hostel time and other security measures were also raised in the complaint.
A third-year student of Government Law College (GLC) in Thiruvananthapuram was struggling to find words to explain the foreboding feeling she gets when she enters the college every day. "The area from the entrance to the college building where the parking area is a difficult zone for most of the girl students. Mostly we see people who are not even part of the college anymore crowding in the area. They pass lewd comments and some of them even tries to take it further and gets physical. Above that there is a normalisation of sexual harassment attitude among some of the college students and faculty which leads to even our classmates and college mates to openly misbehave and suffer no consequences," said she said.
A fourth-year law student who wished to remain anonymous spoke of her dreadful experience from her own classmate which was brushed away by the authorities. "One of my classmates constantly sends lewd text messages. The same person misbehaved with my friend too. However, whenever we raise the issue with the authorities, the blame gets turned around. It becomes our mistake that we don't dress 'properly'. They even told me that my clothes make boys assume differently about me and that is how boys are. Whenever we raise our issues we are tagged as belonging to another union and therefore questioning our intentions in complaining. I want the issues to be addressed and don't want to be called a stooge of any political wing," she said.
Ammu Nair, Vice Chairperson of the union of GLC, however, does not feel that any sort of normalisation of harassment happens in the college. " Whenever such issues occur we sort it as soon as possible. As far as I am aware, there are no harassment issues in the campus.," she said.
“I try to sort the issues which are raised before me. There is a woman's cell and if the students have any problems with it, they can raise it with higher authorities,” said Principal R Biju Kumar and refused to comment further.
Abdu Rahman, a Fraternity movement member from GLC said “ Politicising the cases of harassment is the easiest way for the culprits to escape. The no one would look past the so-called 'political agenda'. Even the faculty remain helpless when it comes to giving justice in such cases. This is a recurring event in the college.”
Namitha Philson, a student of GLC representing KSU said “It is said that there is a grievance redressal cell for women. However, we do not know who the members are or what their activities are. Whenever an issue happens in the college, everyone comes together to hush it down. An active cell to raise the issues is very important.